Fools Recycle Silliness
1We no more give honors to fools
than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest.
2 You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse
as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow.
3 A whip for the racehorse, a tiller for the sailboat—
and a stick for the back of fools!
4 Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
you’ll only look foolish yourself.
5 Answer a fool in simple terms
so he doesn’t get a swelled head.
6 You’re only asking for trouble
when you send a message by a fool.
7 A proverb quoted by fools
is limp as a wet noodle.
8 Putting a fool in a place of honor
is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.
9 To ask a moron to quote a proverb
is like putting a scalpel in the hands of a drunk.
10 Hire a fool or a drunk
and you shoot yourself in the foot.
11 As a dog eats its own vomit,
so fools recycle silliness.
12 See that man who thinks he’s so smart?
You can expect far more from a fool than from him.
13 Loafers say, “It’s dangerous out there!
Tigers are prowling the streets!”
and then pull the covers back over their heads.
14 Just as a door turns on its hinges,
so a lazybones turns back over in bed.
15 A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie,
but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth.
Like Glaze on Cracked Pottery
16 Dreamers fantasize their self-importance;
they think they are smarter
than a whole college faculty.
17 You grab a mad dog by the ears
when you butt into a quarrel that’s none of your business.
18-19 People who shrug off deliberate deceptions,
saying, “I didn’t mean it, I was only joking,”
Are worse than careless campers
who walk away from smoldering campfires.
20 When you run out of wood, the fire goes out;
when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.
21 A quarrelsome person in a dispute
is like kerosene thrown on a fire.
22 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
do you want junk like that in your belly?
23 Smooth talk from an evil heart
is like glaze on cracked pottery.
24-26 Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend,
all the while conniving against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how cunningly he conceals his malice,
eventually his evil will be exposed in public.
27 Malice backfires;
28 Liars hate their victims;
flatterers sabotage trust.